|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:
deal to him, and out of his busy life had set apart time enough
to enjoy that friendship. His mind was full of her that day.
He made me see her again, feel her presence, revived all my old
affection for her.
"I can't see," he said impetuously, "why you have never written
anything about Antonia."
I told him I had always felt that other people--he himself,
for one knew her much better than I. I was ready, however,
to make an agreement with him; I would set down on paper
all that I remembered of Antonia if he would do the same.
We might, in this way, get a picture of her.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Camille by Alexandre Dumas:
bound to be consumed, it is as well to throw oneself into the
flames as to be asphyxiated with charcoal.
"Then I met you, young, ardent, happy, and I tried to make you
the man I had longed for in my noisy solitude. What I loved in
you was not the man who was, but the man who was going to be. You
do not accept the position, you reject it as unworthy of you; you
are an ordinary lover. Do like the others; pay me, and say no
more about it."
Marguerite, tired out with this long confession, threw herself
back on the sofa, and to stifle a slight cough put up her
handkerchief to her lips, and from that to her eyes.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles:
If I must question thee again, thou'rt lost.
Well then--it was a child of Laius' house.
Slave-born or one of Laius' own race?
I stand upon the perilous edge of speech.
And I of hearing, but I still must hear.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
Liddy is small. We got to the door, somehow, and Liddy held a
brass andiron, which it was all she could do to lift, let alone
brain anybody with. I listened, and, hearing nothing, opened the
door a little and peered into the hall. It was a black void,
full of terrible suggestion, and my candle only emphasized the
gloom. Liddy squealed and drew me back again, and as the door
slammed, the mirror I had put on the transom came down and hit
her on the head. That completed our demoralization. It was some
time before I could persuade her she had not been attacked from
behind by a burglar, and when she found the mirror smashed on the
floor she wasn't much better.
The Circular Staircase